With faster internet speeds and the ongoing desire for entertainment, streaming apps have become part of our everyday life. The emergence of Netflix was only the beginning of a powerful trend.
In New Zealand, whilst we may not have quite the selection some other countries do, there are some very unique choices available to us. In this article we’ll cover both the mainstream apps as well as some of the more specialised options.
A number of the streaming apps will be pre-installed on any TCL smart TV that you purchase. For any others, it is usually a simple matter to download them from the Google Play store; one of the great features of televisions operating on the Android TV and Google TV platforms.
Most people are familiar with Netflix. Originally a DVD home-delivery service, Netflix changed the home entertainment landscape when they became the first successful entertainment streaming service.
They offer a vast range of content across a wide range of genres. They also produce a considerable amount of their own exclusive content, known as Netflix Originals. Netflix also have a considerable catalogue of titles in languages other than English, including their in-house Netflix Originals productions.
Netflix Pricing as of the time of writing (all prices in NZ dollars);
- $11.99 per month for a basic subscription. This includes content delivered in SD (Standard Definition) format only, and simultaneous streaming to one device at a time.
- $16.99 per month HD (High Definition) streaming / up to 2 devices simultaneously.
- $21.99 per month 4K resolution streaming / up to 4 devices.
One of, if not the largest content libraries, plenty of exclusive content, and an interesting selection of international flavoured titles makes Netflix a solid choice.
As the home to the Star Wars and Marvel superheroes franchises, Disney+ has a lot of fans from the start. They also host a full range of Pixar and Disney movies (not surprisingly), plus National Geographic documentaries and a range of other content.
Pricing for the Disney+ streaming subscription:
- $12.99 per month, or $129.99 per year.
There is only a single pricing tier for Disney+. All subscriptions are inclusive of simultaneous streaming for up to 4 devices and in HD content delivery. They do provide 4K quality for selected titles, however.
Amazon Prime offers a wide selection of entertainment content across many genres. They also create exclusive in-house movies and shows under the “Amazon Original” badge. In generalthey have less content than Netflix, though this is expanded by a video-on-demand rental service, mainly for newer releases.
With recent production studio acquisitions such as MGM Studios in Hollywood, Amazon looks to be expanding their content as well as production capabilities. MGM is the studio behind movies such as RoboCop and the James Bond movies, amongst many other movies and TV shows. It should be interesting to see what becomes available on Amazon Prime in the future.
An Amazon Prime subscription costs:
- $8.00 per month.
An Amazon Prime subscription comes bundled with some added benefits other streaming services can’t match. Because they are part of Amazon, subscribers can get free shipping on eligible items purchased through the Amazon marketplace. They also get access to a rotating selection of ebooks and over two million tracks of music streaming.
Neon has a very good content library to select from, including movies and shows from HBO, Sky, and BBC.
Pricing for a Neon subscription:
- $15.99 per month, or $159.99 per year.
Content is available in High-Definition (HD) quality. Unfortunately, at this time Neon does not offer any title in 4K resolution.
Focussing primarily on the horror and thriller genres, Shudder is much more of a specialist streaming service. With a wide selection of scary movies and TV shows, including exclusives, a Shudder subscription will keep your adrenaline pumping.
Shudder subscription costs:
- $7.99 per month, or $79.99 per year.
Your Shudder subscription only officially works with one device at a time, though we have heard of some workarounds.
Spark Sports is a dedicated sports streaming service. It offers access to soccer, rugby league, basketball, hockey, motorsports, and much more.
- $24.99 per month.
One limitation to a Spark Sports subscription is that it only allows viewing on a single device at a time.
Sky Sports offers an extensive selection of live and on-demand sporting coverage.
Whilst offering a comprehensive volume of sporting coverage, Sky Sports is not for the fait-of-heart price-wise.
Sky Sports subscriptions pricing:
- $39.99 per month, or $399.99 per year.
Sky Sports does offer an interesting alternative to their monthly subscriptions; it is possible to purchase weekly access for a one-off payment of $19.99. This is perfect for those wanting to enjoy specific games or sporting events without necessarily seeking a full subscription.
HiDive is a specialist streaming service that focusses on Japanese TV, anime, and animated films. Subscriptions to HiDive are only available at this time in US dollars.
Pricing for HiDive subscription:
- US$4.99 per month, or US$47.99 per year.
If you really enjoy your Japanese-style content, take a look at HiDive.
As with HiDive above, Crunchy Roll also features Japanese TV, anime, and manga.
CrunchyRoll subscription pricing:
- $7.99 per month for a single device.
- 9.99 per month, or $99.99 per year for multiple devices.
If you are interested in this style of content, it is probably worthwhile doing a comparison between CrunchyRoll and HiDive
Free-to-air streaming channels
When it comes to free-to-air apps, there are a number of uniquely New Zealand streaming channels available.
Maori TV offers a rotating selection of original programming, movies, and documentaries.
NZ On Screen
NZ On Screen features a showcase of NZ content. This includes film, music videos, TV shows, and even online web series.
A Kanopy subscription is available through selected New Zealand libraries. Just like borrowing a book from a library, you can access up to six items per month to watch.
Tubi is a video-on-demand service, but with ads (which is why it’s free). Tubi has a good amount of movies and TV shows, including some major Hollywood releases.
A final mention – movies on demand services
It is also worthwhile mentioning the various on-demand movie rental services available. These have been set up (with one exception) by the major NZ cinema chains. They provide a way for the cinema chains to offer viewers access to new release movies at home.
- Deluxe At Home. Owned by the Deluxe Cinema chain.
- Roxy onDemand. Owned by the Roxy Cinema chain.
- Academy onDemand. Owned by the Academy Cinema chain.
- NZ Film onDemand. Offering all the content, new and old, created by the NZ Film Commission.
It is typical for customers to select one of the primary subscription streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Neon, or Disney+. They can then add one or two more specialised channels as fits their personal viewing preferences.
Additionally, whilst most streaming services offer a discount for an annual subscription, all can be accessed on a month-to-month basis. It is certainly possible to subscribe to one streaming service for a time, and then switch to another. By the time you return to the first service there should be a whole range of new content to watch.
Overall, there is plenty of choice in New Zealand for entertainment streaming, along with some free and unique options. Pick the ones that match your own preferences and enjoy.